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Re: Camping and Tramping as Englishness versus Aussie bush identity

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Posted by Catherine Lamont on July 15, 2023 at 11:48:24 user clamont.

In Reply to: Camping and Tramping, Swallows and Amazons: Interwar Children’s Fiction and the Search for England posted by Bill D NZ on May 31, 2023 at 07:49:20:

I have only got as far as the abstract, but it does occur to me that there is a parallel in the apparent absurdity of a largely metropolitan population looking to the countryside/bush for a sense of national identity. Living in regional Australia (50 miles from Ransome's maternal grandfather's grave and sheep station, by the way), the bush identity makes a lot more sense to me. In fact, I sometimes have to remind myself this is not the "norm" (a fact brought home to me whenever I ring a call centre that assumes I like in Sydney where there are services that simply don't exist in the country). But I think that the rural aspect of both British and Australian national identity demonstrates that underneath the "reality" of most people living busy urban lifestyles is a recognition that this is not exactly ideal. The great outdoors is preferable for many reasons, and while we might paper our walls with pictures of lakes and forests (or even create virtual rainforests in our lounge rooms, I suppose), there is no substitute for the real thing. In my not very humble opinion!

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